• lianicolezurenko5

Relationship Green Flags


In honor of February, which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and to give a positive counterpart to one of my past articles detailing the signs of toxic relationships, I wanted to share some relationship “green flags”. These green flags are good traits and practices that should happen in your relationships when they are happy, healthy, and successful.



Mutual Respect

The first green flag that is a must in a relationship is mutual respect. This should be incorporated in how you speak to each other (no name-calling or speaking poorly), respecting each other’s boundaries, and valuing each other’s identities within the relationship. When you need to discuss something important with your partner, they should be listening with an open heart and open mind. Maybe you need some space, and your partner should be understanding of that. If something makes you uncomfortable, and you want to create a boundary about it in the relationship, they should respect that. Your boundaries should never be challenged and the line of what makes you uncomfortable should never be crossed. If it is crossed, or if something happens that is negatively impacting your relationship, it’s time to talk about it, which leads me into my next green flag.


Communication

The second green flag is communication. You should never feel like you can’t talk to your partner about something, from simple things like your day, to more important things like discussing boundaries and serious relationship matters. Not only should you be able to communicate, but it should be in a healthy style. Attempts to communicate should not result in bickering and arguing, but rather in a productive resolution. Whether you end up choosing your side, their side, or you meet somewhere in the middle with a compromise on the issue, both people should feel satisfied when communicating. You shouldn’t blame everything on each other, and you shouldn't ever really feel like you’re always being blamed for something. Effective communication is key in building the next green flag: trust.


Trust

The third green flag is trust. In order to be healthy, you should be able to trust your partner. Trust can be hard and take some vulnerability, especially if you’ve been in a toxic relationship before, but it is very necessary. Trust is a joint effort, requiring your partner to be consistent, honest, and loyal to you, and you being able to believe them. Sometimes jealousy can occur in a relationship, which is normal, but what matters is how you react to that jealousy. You shouldn't become controlling or accusatory, but instead, you should talk to your partner about how you feel, and decide how to move on from there. Consistent honesty from you and your partner is the key to trust. You really can’t have a healthy relationship without it.


Identity

The last green flag I will mention is identity. In the context of a relationship, identity means that although you are in a relationship with someone, you’re still your own person. You should still be able to do all your normal hobbies and activities, be able to hang out with your usual friends, and be able to spend time with your family while in a relationship. Your partner shouldn’t hold you back from these things, but rather allow you to grow inside and outside of the relationship. It should be the same case for your partner as well. If it starts to feel like your partner is limiting you, or vice versa, it’s probably time for a talk or time to set some boundaries in order to remain healthy for each other. When it comes to identity, keep in mind that you were your own person with all your unique interests before the relationship, you should be able to maintain that during the relationship—and if it is to come to an end, you should still be able to be yourself afterward, too.


These green flags should show up in your relationships all the time. They are the keys to the success of any relationship, even platonic. If you can observe these green flags in your relationship, you’re doing well, and if you aren’t, make sure to talk to your partner about it. Discussing problems with trusted people in your life such as family and friends can also guide you in the right direction when it comes to relationships. Just remember that you aren’t alone in whatever you go through, and if you are experiencing problems or a relationship that is negatively impacting your life, reach out to someone. You deserve healthy and happy relationships full of these green flags!


Sources:

https://www.ny.gov/teen-dating-violence-awareness-and-prevention/what-does-healthy-relationship-look#:~:text=Healthy%20relationships%20involve%20honesty%2C%20trust,or%20retaliation%2C%20and%20share%20decisions.


https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/healthy-relationship.html



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